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Lakers to officially hire Eddie Jordan, let the Princeton experiment begin

Aug 16, 2012, 9:32 PM EDT

eddie jordan Getty Images

We told you a while back that the Lakers were talking to and moving to hire former Wizards and 76ers coach Eddie Jordan.

Now that is very close to reality, and they are bringing in veteran NBA coach Bernie Bickerstaff and former Magic coach Steve Clifford in what is a total overhaul of the assistant coaching ranks, reports Kevin Ding at the Orange County Register.

Usually assistant coach hires are not overly fascinating in the NBA, but in this case Jordan is coming to usher in a Princeton offense era for the Lakers that promises to be interesting.

The Princeton offense makes a lot of sense for Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol — its principles are not radically different from the triangle offence. The Princeton offense is really a series of three-man and two-man offenses on one side of the court, with constant motion and cuts off the ball. The idea is always to keep floor spacing through movement.

The Princeton offense wants a center that can both score in the post, is a deft passer and is a threat to knock down a 16-foot jumper from the elbow. That describes Pau Gasol perfectly. Kobe could work off cuts and curls to get catch-and-shoot looks that will be more reminiscent of what he got out of the triangle, the offense Kobe won five rings running.

But where do Steve Nash and Dwight Howard fit in? Those two are a natural and deadly pick-and-roll combination, and Nash’s shooting is a needed part of the Princeton offense. But the fits are not as natural.

Will the Lakers run a hybrid Princeton? Use it some trips down and not others? Run pick-and-roll and up-tempo offense early in the clock and settle into a Princeton set (which Phil Jackson had the Lakers do for a couple years with the triangle)?

Lots of questions and some interesting potential answers. How the Lakers evolve this season will be something to watch. They have the pieces to be a contender, but they have to fit them all together now.

  1. rickyspanish - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    There’s a name I haven’t heard in a while.

  2. clevelandschronic2 - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Wheres byron when LA needs him?? O Yeah he’s leading my Cavs. But it doesnt matter wht offense they run when u have kobe and his shoot first ,second and third mentality. Should be a great circus show to watch blow up especially with howard,nash,kobe,pau and that anti-world-peace guy. Oops i meant metta world peace

    • lakerdownunder - Aug 17, 2012 at 3:49 AM

      Your Cavs (or the other teams) should be so lucky to have to worry about whether Kobe, Dwight, Nash, and Gasol will mesh. I’m quite happy if that’s the biggest issue I need to worry about as a Lakers fan!

      • tahjay - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        Still happy?

  3. bcjim - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    Awesome. Maybe Gene Shue, Gar Heard, And Wes Unseld can get on board too.

  4. 00maltliquor - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:07 AM


    Well, hopefully it IS a hybrid, but not the full monty. Doesn’t serve Nash to his full capibilities, and isn’t the most appeasing offense to the eye. Hopefully they got rid of Kuester too, if it is indeed a assistant overhaul., here I come…

  5. magicbucs - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    Who cares what they run. They will be winning more than losing.

    • tahjay - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:56 PM


  6. sffan75 - Aug 17, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    Does it matter what they run? I could be in charge of calling their offense and they’d still be able to score. And I’d do it for half the price!

  7. Eric Stafford - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:59 AM

    I think throwing in a few Princeton sets could help them out a lot, especially with such a great passing big in Gasol.

  8. dbick - Aug 17, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    All I remember about Eddie Jordan is he took over the Sixers after they were an 8-seed and in the course of one season turned them into a team with the 2nd overall pick. Terrible coach.

    • philadelphiafan - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:54 PM

      Yep they went from 41-41 to 27-55. He completely ruined that team for an entire season and for some reason I watched every game. Jordan did help them get Turner though so atleast some good came from him.

  9. crillbill - Aug 17, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    My Lakers are so old I thought maybe we signed him to hit the open 3

  10. br4444 - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    This guy came to Philly and was one of the most clueless looking human beings I have ever seen coach. What the hell are the Lakers thinking?

  11. tfoz5150 - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    This guy was terrible! The only worse thing for LA is if he succeeds Brown as coach. Keep him far away from the court, very far away. he seems like a nice enough guy, but he seemed to tear the Sixers apart and created a full on mutiny in the process. I never seen a guy looked so pissed than looking at Elton Brand the year he played for him.

  12. pxeeks - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Eddie Jordan is awful. The worst coach ever for the 76’ers. The same goes for that Princeton offense. Why why why does this guy have a job??

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